It’s Friday!  I’m excited for the weekend and have a new experience.  This year I was invited to join a Texas Independence Relay team and I’m really excited for the experience.

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It’s 200 miles with my friends. We’re either going to love or hate each other by the time it’s all done! We have 11 people on our team and two drivers. Willie volunteered to drive on this little adventure and I’m so grateful for his support on this one! We start tomorrow morning at 9:28 am and will run from Gonzales, TX to the San Jacinto Monument! 200 freakin’ miles, 11 people, two vans and zero sleep! Doesn’t it sound like a good time?

TIR planning meeting! #runchat #running #runhappy
The most difficult thing for me is food! First off, I don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m eating junk! It’s hard for Willie and I because we don’t eat a lot of processed food or fast food! It’s just not going to be easy for us. I hope no one minds that we’ll both be toting our own cooler of food. I cooked us some food last night that won’t go terribly bad and I’ll prep us some oatmeal for the mornings and hope we can keep it cold enough.  Needlesstosay, we’ll be getting a lot of ice! I do feel like I have too much stuff, but I have to be prepared for this.

I’m excited to be doing something different and pushing myself out of my comfort zone!  This is supposed to be an amazing experience.  So please, follow me on twitter and instagram and like our team page on Facebook for updates throughout the weekend.  Here goes nothing…

What are your plans for the weekend?

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And I mean that literally! All the business is behind us.  On Tuesday, I went back to the consulate to see if we got approved for our visas and to pick them up!  Luckily we were approved and that was the last big hurdle for us going to China! Going to China is a very big deal and they really like to know why you’re going and what you’re doing when you get there.  It may seem like a hassle having to fill out the paper work, but at the same time it makes me feel a little safer too.  It’s comforting to know they collect this much information about the people visiting their country.  We also have to keep in mind we are visiting a country with a very different governmental base than what we are use to here.

It’s getting really close.  We’ll be running The Great Wall of China Marathon in 34 days!  I can’t believe it.  It’s so close.  Last week I posted the course map and it looked so confusing but I was intrigued.  Willie has been working on the stairmaster like a beast…and I should probably join him. Instead, I’m just working on my endurance and running inclines on the treadmill and road racing a lot.

So what are we doing now to prepare? I’m reading up on all things China!  Here are just a couple of things I’ve learned along the way:

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1. If we’re going to visit Hong Kong, we need to make sure we have multiple entries on our visa because Hong Kong is not apart of the People’s Republic of China!  It’s like it’s own little territory.  Isn’t that kind of crazy?

2.  Apparently, we have to follow the words of Dave Matthews and don’t drink the water! Most of the travel websites I have visited have said the same thing: drink bottled water.  I’ve also read in several places to make sure a seal is broken when you open that water.  Maybe people refill the water and try to sell it again? Willie and I drink nothing but water, so I guess we’ll be buying a lot of drinking water.  I wonder how this is going to work out on the race course though.

3. Toilet paper is a luxury.  The first thing on all lists is to bring toilet paper with you every where because it won’t be available.  Because of this, I have decided that I’m also going to buy lots of hand sanitizer.  Especially after reading about the toilet situation, which brings me to my next point.

4. Looks like Western toilets are few and far between.  It’s a poop and squat situation in a hole. People have mentioned that China is very well developed and modern except for the toilet situation. There are some western style toilets but for the most part we will be popping a squat literally.

5. Cash is king! Credit cards are rarely used and especially in the remote areas.

6. Cross the street at your own risk.  I’ve read that cars won’t stop when you are crossing the street. I heard they just push on the gas.  We’ll see how this goes cause I plan on doing a lot of walking.

7. Lastly, there are people who actually get paid to push people onto the subway during rush hour times!  Talk about a job for an angry person, right?  They can just go around pushing people to help with crowd control!  I don’t plan on riding the subway, but I would REALLY like to see this!  You think I might get spotted as a tourist if I just wanted to watch this?

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I like to think I’m ok with it, but I know I’m not.  I haven’t been bashing my body image but I’ve been more conscious of it lately.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been out of town lately and really settled into my usual pattern, but I’ve been noticing.

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February 2014

I talk about my legs way too much.  I even mentioned it last week in a blog post. I am self conscious about my thighs.  Funny thing is, it used to be my arms but now it’s my thighs. You will see the evolution of the shorts in this post.  Maybe I should just throw the stupid shorts out though if it’s causing this much contemplating. LOL!

When I started my weight loss journey, I pictured what I thought I would look like after losing the weight.  It didn’t turn out quite the way I thought I would but I am in no way complaining.  Yes, I’m left with the remnants of being overweight and it doesn’t bother me.  The thing that bothers me is returning to what I use to be.

It’s scary hearing people talk about how they lost the weight and they tell you they put it back on.  I sometimes thing people tell share this story to others who have lost weight because those people are somewhat down on themselves for gaining it back.  Gaining the weight back has always been the biggest fear since losing the weight.  I hate to admit it, but it’s the truth.

I conquered the bridge and completed the half marathon in a personal best. So PROUD of myself right now.

November 2012

I’ve stopped stepping on the scale because I don’t want to be defined by that number. As long as my clothes fit me the same, I’m ok.  Well guess what folks? My pants/shorts no longer fit me to same.  I feel like I’ve gained 45 pounds in just my legs.  Friends tell me, well look how much you work out.  Willie pokes fun at me because he knows I stepped up my running and that’s the cause of my massive “thighage.” I blame my genetics too.  My dad has cursed all of this kids with these big legs!

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August 2013

I look back at pictures from last August before I started training heavily and my thighs were slim.  Now those suckers are muscular and I really have no reason to complain. Needlesstoday, this shorts don’t fit me the same way now. The shorts really hug my thighs! It’s just hard dealing with the body changes.  When my legs get bigger, my first thought goes to gaining weight.  My thought goes to all those people out there who run and don’t have the massive leg growth syndrome.  I wish I could be one of those people, but I’m not.

I need to get over this insecurity but I feel like it will follow me around for some time now.  But I guess I could have bigger problems to worry about.  All in all, it’s a lesson in learning to love yourself the good and the bad.  The perfections and the imperfections even when it’s the hardest thing for you to do!  I am strong, I am healthy and I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished and I should spend more time celebrating that instead of getting wrapped up in the insecurity.

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I don’t drink my calories and when I do…it’s painful.  I would just rather eat my calories than waste them on a drink.  Most people aren’t that way.  When we decided to lose the weight, we did it cold turkey.  There was no more soda, juice, fru-fru coffee drinks or alcohol.  That was something I had to let go.

It’s amazing how little a cup of juice is and how quickly you can tear through a couple of sodas before an appeterizer arrives at the table.  Just knowing that was enough to turn me off the concept. I would allow myself to have a diet soda on the weekend if I wanted it, but soon that even died out.  The more I read about diet soda the less I wanted it.

Yep, I had to have one today. I'm not really a #soda drinker but I needed one. And it was good! #beverages #dietsoda #vices

Today, I wanted a diet soda and I drank it…and it was soo good.

I don’t really condone diet soda because it makes me bloated.  Whoa! Talk about TMI, right?  It also fools your body by being zero calories and sends your body into freakout mode.  And I also think that it makes me hungrier. I don’t know if it really increases hunger, but that is the way I feel.

I obviously don’t drink regular soda or fruit juice due to the high sugar content.  I thought I would miss juice but I really don’t.  It was just something I had to let go in the past.

Consuming my calories in a liquid form doesn’t always sit well with me.  I allow myself to have lowfat chocolate milk after a hard workout because I need it for recovery.  And after some hard races, instead of eating I do get a smoothie because that is really all my body can handle.

Alcohol was the easiest thing for me to give up.  I was always a social drinker but not like a super heavy drinker.  I started to do the calorie counts on some of my favorite drinks and realized some of them had more calories than a Big Mac.  That made it easy for me to let alcohol go.  There are some things I can substitute or make a healthier version of, but 9 times out of 10 I’ll stay away from the alcohol.

Yes there is SkinnyGirl and I’ve had it and it’s good.  I also know there are other alternatives too, but I guess in the end…it’s not worth it to me.

Why am I like this?  I would rather eat my calories than suck it down in a straw.  We all have our things though and most people may not agree with my method.  This was/is the method that works for me.  I would just rather eat!

Do you drink your calories?

 

 

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It’s been a super busy day!  I really wanted to post this morning, but it just wasn’t happening.  I should be sleep right now because I have to teach at 5AM but I’m sitting here writing the blog because I don’t want it to get pushed back any further.  I have other blogs I want to post this week so it’s important it comes out today!

This past weekend, I spent the time running with my friends at Rock n Roll Dallas!  I’m not going to completely bash my hotel, but staying at this particular hotel was the low light of the whole trip.  I do believe that when you pay that much for a hotel you should be able to sleep in peace and not have to worry about calling security two nights in a row.

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I have so much to say but there’s just not enough time and I don’t want to bore you with the little details.  There are just a few things you need to know about the weekend!

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I’ve committed to a tri! I’ve been pushing it off because I’m afraid of failing. So I’ve put it on the schedule and I’ll pay for it when we get back from China. But this will be my big TRI! Hopefully I’ll get some sprint tris under my belt before then so I can do the Olympic distance!

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I rode the shoe at the expo to get a cooler!

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I had dinner with my running group…

Carb loading! #rnrdal
Carbed with chicken pesto thin crust pizza. Willie and I shared it and it was amazing. Very light and not a lot of cheese or meat. Just the way I like it!

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I got to meet my social media friends! Pointonemiles and John!

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Meet some new Team Chocolate Milk teammies, Jennifer and Peter, and had fun with old friends. It was good to see Jesus even if it was for a minute! Crazy barefoot runner! GTS was really representing here at RnR Dallas with Team Chocolate Milk! I love it!

The race went well. I was trying to finish in 2:10 with Tyson but his long legs were making me angry. I couldn’t keep up with him. I could keep him in seeing distance but it was too hard for me to run stride for stride with him. It made me sad and angry at the same time. Plus, Tyson is a champ at the water stations. I have to stop but he can keep rolling through them. I have to get better because I know that would probably shave 5 minutes off my time! Now I’m starting to think about the little things that slow me down and water stations are a big part of that!

Couldn't have made it to my PR without Tyson!  He actually 2:10 but I couldn't keep up with his long legs.  Next time we'll finish it together!
I didn’t quite make it to 2:10 like Tyson but I made it to 2:12:20 which a PR for me! A minute and about 30 seconds off my time so I was one happy girl. You’ll notice all the pictures after the race I was super happy! Without Tyson I don’t think I would have done it. Tyson challenges me to push my pace and keep with it. I never thought I was going to PR again after chasing it for so long and not getting it. I just know I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough because I was just settling. Plus, running a marathon is different than running a half and my focus has been on the marathon! BIG congrats to Tyson for setting another PR!

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And to his sister for running her first half this weekend and finishing it in 2:04! I need to train with her!

He's back to running.  China, here we come!
Willie ran the race too and the pain was limited. He found a way to make it work for him! I’m proud of him.

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These are the moments I love the most.  When I get to spend time with my friends and we all do what we love!  The race was great and I PRed but it was really about the amazing weekend I had with my friends.

It's a PR: 2:12:20!  A minute and a half off my time. Had a great time with my Got Chocolate Milk Team.  I was happy in my #finishstrong moment, eh?
And the lowfat chocolate milk at the end means I can keep going! Thanks Team Chocolate Milk for all the memories and the delicious treat at the end of the 13.1 miles! It’s greatly appreciated because we need to be strong for The Great Wall of China!

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I do believe I met all my goals this weekend.  I didn’t spend too much at the expo.  I had an amazing weekend with my friends.  And most importantly, I chased down that PR!  It feels soo good.  I love this race and I’ll do it again next year!  There were some things I didn’t remember from last year…like how hilly it would be.  I must have been a running beast last year to think it wasn’t a big deal.  This year was a different can of worms but I still survived.  I LOVED IT!

Slammed it! #breakfast #rnrdal

And of course, there were pancakes when it was over!

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It’s an exciting weekend and a much deserved break, I guess.  I’m heading to Dallas to run Rock n Roll Dallas with my buddies and to represent Team Chocolate Milk!

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Last year, Rock n Roll Dallas was my first Rock n Roll and probably the race that awakened the running beast in me!  Also, it kind of fueled my NEED to want to be on Team Refuel (aka TEAM CHOCOLATE MILK)!  I meet so many great people and the group was so welcoming, I knew I had to be on the team.  Plus, that was really the first time I’d ever refueled with lowfat chocolate milk after a race.  I was sold, especially after seeing how I was able to pick up and run the next day after the race.

Lowfat chocolate milk naturally provides the electrolytes found in commercial sport drinks!  It’s got the perfect carb to protein ratio to help rebuild your body after a long hard workout!  And it doesn’t hurt it tastes good too!  When I started my weight loss journey, chocolate was something I did give up but now it’s great to have it and not worry about it.  It’s all about recovery people!

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So how do I take my chocolate milk?

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I like to drink it with friends! It’s the best way to go! But if I can’t drink it with my friends…


Solo is cool too!


Mixed with my iced coffee after a run isn’t so bad either!

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I especially love low fat chocolate milk with pancakes or waffles after a marathon!

If you know anything, at least you know I’m built with chocolate milk!  FYI: I don’t promote stuff I don’t use myself so never get that twisted.  I try to stay as real and honest here so don’t think I’m just spitting out my lines at you because I’m not!

This weekend I’ll be running the half marathon in Dallas with my friends.  IF you see me say hello!  I’m hoping to have  repeat of last year where I PRed.  I haven’t PRed in such a long time so it would be nice.  So my main goal is to PR, followed by having fun with everyone! My C goal is to not spend a lot of money at the expo!  I plan on only buying the things I need but when I’m there I suddenly need a lot of things!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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It’s time for your weekly update on all things China!  Remember last week when I told you we weren’t prepared for this trip, we really aren’t!  But this week we are two steps closer.  Our passports arrived in the mail this week which meant I needed to make the trek down to the Chinese consulate.  That is why this blog post is happening so late in the day.

Last big thing to do before #china and running the #greatwallofchina #marathon! It's coming up pretty soon!
Wondering why I had to go there? When you go to China for any reason you have to get a visa. It goes inside your passport and you’re not allowed to enter into the country unless you have visa. We’re just regular ole tourists so that’s the visa we applied for. Hopefully, we’ll get approved rather quickly because this is really the last big hurdle we have to jump over before boarding the plane.

This week, I also got the information on the The Great Wall of China Marathon! This was really exciting for me to read through the information. The only thing I’m not too jazzed about is having to get on a bus at 2 AM for a 6 AM start! But hey, it’s not really that bad, right? We’re going to be running ON, THROUGH, AROUND, etc. so much history! You should have seen me reading through the information, I was very excited! I am a little scared of the race but the great Courtney Kerr told us, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they probably aren’t big enough!”

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It’s going to be very hot on race day and we have 10 hours to complete the course. There are several loops that we have to maneuver our way through. There are going to be lots of stairs and rocky parts! It’s going to be SO FUN! I can’t wait to share this experience with all you! Willie says we can run it in 6 hours but I’m leaning more towards 8 hours.  What do you think?

So how is the training going?  It’s going good for me.  Not so much for Willie!  He’s coming back from an injury that has kept him sidelined.  He should be fine as long as he stretches, ices and compresses.  He hasn’t been following Dr. Angie’s orders very well, but the’s doing ok. Yesterday, we did some run/walk intervals and he did fine!  His marathon training is about to kick off into high gear. He’s going to have to kick in some high miles.  ME, I’m just crazy because I’m running every weekend with high miles.  I’m ready to rock my 5th marathon.

Right now, we’re just trying to finalize the touristy things like what to see and do while we are there.  We haven’t really done much research into that whole bit but there’s plenty of time to get cracking on that.  Hopefully, next week I’ll have more of that kind of stuff to talk about.  But as for right now, all the official documents needed to get into China are almost within arms reach and that’s a huge load off my shoulders.

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I meant to post this on Sunday but I was lazy! I didn’t do much on Sunday but go to the grocer and watch Willie bake. Oh, I also caught up on Pretty Little Liars! That show is CRAZY!

I got my hair done since I'm not running this weekend! Lol! Went to a new lady and she did a great job!
On Friday, I got my hair done. Willie told me no running so this was the opportunity for me to get it done without having to worry about sweating it out. Verdict: My hair survived a 5 mile walk, a 55 min weight class but the 3 mile run yesterday did it in! And what was still manageable was gone after I taught my cycle class this morning. It was pretty while it lasted. Now I can stop worrying about maintaining my pretty hair getting back to really working out! Sad but true. There were a lot of exclamation points happening there.


Friday night Willie made his pizza dough and I veggied it up! We watched The Veronica Mars Movie and it was soo good. Yes, I have some complaints but I was glad there was a movie and that I helped make the movie by being contributing to the kickstarter. We got the digital download on Friday morning which meant we didn’t have to drive to Houston to watch it in theaters. It was just a good night!

Woollies told me no running until Monday and no strenuous workouts. Monday this girl will be back but until then it was a 5.68 mile walk! #fitness #fitfluential #fitcheckin
Saturday morning we went for a walk. I wanted to walk 7-10 miles but Willie wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t even let me do it on my own. I settled for 5.68 miles and even impressed Willie with my willingness to stop at not hit 6 miles or even 5.75 miles. I couldn’t win the battle on the miles or running, but I could win the fight on showing him a had a little bit of workout self-control. It was a win all around. I actually enjoyed the walk with Willie though because we talked A LOT and he didn’t mind it! I’m super self conscious about my thighs but Saturday was a day to break free and I had to capture the moment.

Willie made his first #cake! Too bad we're not eating it! It's for his co-workers! Tomorrow it's going to be a big hit! #desserts #stpaddysday
On Sunday, we went to the grocery store for our weekly shopping. Willie also wanted to make treats for his co-workers and our running group. He made drunken chocolate chip cookies and a hummingbird cake. This was his first attempt at cake. The running group enjoyed it yesterday and apparently the cookies were gone pretty quickly too. I had a cookie. It was good. I had a tiny bit of cake too and it was delicious. People are going to start expecting his treats now. He’s like me; I like to make the stuff but I don’t eat it. I pass it on!


It was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella so I got a new one when we were out shopping. I was super excited to have this pretty umbrella. I had to protect my hair too.

#pasta sauce is happening now! I'm ready for #dinner! #homemade   #fromscratch
When Willie was done hogging the kitchen baking I made my pasta sauce from scratch. By the time he was done, I really didn’t want to cook but I was tired of eating out too. I made it anyway and I’m glad that I did because it was delicious and there was plenty for leftovers FOR DAYS. No kidding, I think we have enough for 3 more days after eating it twice already. I’m just going to freeze the rest!

People have been asking about my workouts so I’ll do a better job of posting them every week. Last week was kind of light for me since I was in recovery mode. I’ll try to post my week’s workouts on Sunday so I’m a little late here.

Week of March 10, 2014
Monday – 3.53 mile walk. No running. I didn’t feel like. OK that’s a lie. I wanted to run but my legs weren’t having it.
Tuesday – Taught my cycle Group Ride class.
Wednesday – Subbed a Group Ride class for a friend.
Thursday – Taught my regular cycle class.
Friday – NOTHING!
Saturday – 5.68 mile walk

This week is already shaping up to be something different! What did your workouts look like last week?

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I sometimes wonder why Willie and I are getting so much praise for losing weight.  Our weight loss is not really a big deal to us.  It was something that we had to do, wanted to do and did!  It’s really nothing special to us.  I wanted to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I wanted to stop the weird stares we got when walking in a store.  I wanted to stop the struggle of finding the clothes I wanted to wear but couldn’t.  I wanted to just do something different.

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I wanted to lose weight before, but all attempts failed.  I tried and lost focus many many times.  My intentions were all good, but my heart wasn’t in it.  It’s easy to think I’ve been this way almost my entire life so why not keep going.  Being overweight soon became a part of my identity.  It was a way I described myself and in hindsight that was pretty wrong, right? I would have rather eaten those 20 chicken nuggets, double cheeseburgers and fries from McDonald’s because it was easier than not eating it.

What made this last time so different? I wanted it.  Most importantly, I didn’t want to fail again.  Previously, I gave up easily.  I brushed it off.  I wasn’t ready to push through the hard parts and celebrate the victories. I didn’t have the fight in me.  I hadn’t found what made my life worth living, I guess.

I hate to even say that but it’s the truth.  All the times I tried before, I was unhappy.  I was insecure.  I had gone through many different changes in life and I didn’t deal with the changes very well.  I was lost and didn’t really know who I was.  It was just apart of growing into adulthood and I probably tried to tackle too many things at one time.

But when I gained my confidence in who I was as a person, when I allowed myself to love (myself and others) and be loved; I was able to move forward.  When I started to love myself, I wanted to take care of my body after the decades of damage I did to it.  When I truly learned to love someone else and saw a positive future, I knew it was time.  That was my moment when I knew I wanted this more than anything else.

I lived my weight loss day in and day out.  I had to make the changes.  I had to maybe alienate some people.  I had to fight against my food addiction.

The thing about weight loss that people don’t realize is: it’s work.  It’s another job!  It’s not easy, it’s not always fun but when it clicks, it’s the best feeling in the world! It doesn’t come easily and it takes time.  I had to learn to create my own instant gratification for the days I needed it.

Sometimes, I had to look in the mirror and REALLY EXAGGERATE what I saw looking back at me to make things easier.  Let me tell you, it’s hard losing 25 pounds for every 50 pounds Willie lost.  It’s hard watching him getting the praise for losing weight because it was more visual on him than me. I had to do what I needed to do to make it through the process.

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This is all about me though.  Every person is different!  People always ask me what my moment was and I don’t really know if it was an exact moment but a good moment in time when everything finally came together after being so wrong for many years.

Have you had your weight loss moment? What was it like for you?

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There’s only one thing that you need to know: I’m tired! I feel like I finally hit the limit of doing too much and not getting enough rest.  Yesterday, “Dr. Dawn” told me to take a break and she’s right.

Recovery is important but it’s not something I’m good at.  I like to be moving and doing something.  When I’m not moving, I don’t feel like myself. There’s probably some psychological thing I’ve also programmed in my mind about not being active too that comes into to play but that’s buried in the back ends of my mind.

All I know is, all the training and running and teaching and working out along with the busy daily life things including the time change has left me exhausted.  It’s been a long 8 months that has led me to this point but every minute was worth it but now it’s time to take a break. But there comes a time when I must listen to my body and right now it’s talking to me.

This is why I don’t recommend anyone working out 7 days a week. When does you body get a chance to recover?

At the beginning of the week, I was miffed at Willie because he asked me not to do a race this weekend.  He’s the only one who can ask/tell me not to run so when he says that I listen.  I may not like it but when he says it I will do it!  Now, I’m thanking him because I’m just too run down to even think about it.  All running with have to be on the streets this weekend and I don’t mind it.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions in my e-mail and I thought I would answer two of the biggest questions in my state of the union post.

1. Can you please tell me exactly what to do to lose weight? Simple answer: no.  I can’t do that.  Many people have written me talking about their medical problems and their need to lose weight.  I’m not a professional and even if I was, I would have to access you before lending you any advice.  Here on the blog, I’m not really telling you how to lose weight, I’m just going through the things I do on a daily basis.  If you’re trying to lose weight, the first thing you need to do is consult a physician to find the ways that will work for you and keep you healthy!

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2. What are you doing about the loose skin? I’m really amazed people are that worried about having loose skin. My question to all you asking is: would you rather be overweight or have loose skin from losing the weight? Yes, I have loose skin. I lost 200 pounds, it’s be expected. The loose skin doesn’t bother me. Yes it’s nuisance sometimes, but I would rather deal with that than not be active or worried about it. The truth: some of it toned up. My arms still have some lose skin (I really only notice it at rest or relaxation) but for the most part my muscles shine through.

I’ve put the picture in above because you can see it here! People sometimes think we’re lying about our weight loss because we don’t have loose skin…but there it is in all of it’s glory. Arms and legs! There ya go!

Willie has a lot of loose skin and as time goes on, I realize he might have to get it cut off because I see it hampering him in the future. Loose skin is to be expected when you go through weight loss, but it’s really not THAT big of deal. We look at it as our battle scars and move forward. Nothing special!

So those are the two biggest questions I get in my e-mail. I hope people actually read this post.

I’m looking forward to weekend of relaxation because a lot of weird things have happened this week. Hopefully, I’ll get a new phone today after my NEW phone (15 days old) hit the fritz! That’s why I haven’t done much posting on social media lately!

How many rest days do you have a week? What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

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